“The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it.” John Eldridge
The heart is where belief lives and this is why it is under attack. Behind every struggle there is unbelief. When I give into my unbelief I focus on my circumstances and can even feel unloved by God. I lose sight of the true words he has spoken and replace them with false perceptions. I can be more focused on the role I think I should play rather than who I am in Him. When I do, I need to understand the real fight is against my unbelief, and the strength I need comes from faith in God and his power.
Ps32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
2Cor4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
One of the circumstances in my life is my singlehood. I hate writing about it because I feel like it is such a small part of who I am in God and it’s not something I allow to overshadow my life, but it is a circumstance of my life that affects me. When I don’t acknowledge it I tend to dismiss the unbelief I can have in my heart that is associated with it. Part of this experience is figuring out how to be a godly woman as a single and how to relate to the men in my life, believers and unbelievers alike.
As a Christian single woman I can feel vulnerable and exposed sometimes. When I focus on my circumstances, which I don’t have control over, I can easily focus on how I fall short in my own eyes or someone else’s. It is in these moments I feel afraid, weak or ashamed. These are uncomfortable feelings and result in two responses: 1) denial, followed by acting like the feelings do not exist, or 2) fear invoked by these feelings, resulting in wanting someone to make me not feel them.
What I can sometimes think is a desire for a life partner is connected to something much deeper. What I really desire is to be known, loved-fully without fear of rejection by someone. What I need to remember, is that I already am. When I lose sight of this I try to take control by wanting to earn favor with people and God. In the process I can get so caught up in trying to figure out what my role is as a Christian woman that I lose sight of what my identity is as God’s daughter.
Ps37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
God loves me and I matter to him. These are facts that resonate with my mind. Yet, the story of the cross, of redemption, of the cosmic battle for my soul, resonates with my heart. When I connect my story to his I am reminded of who I am, an image bearer of God rather than my role. When I put my hope in God I do not give way to fear. I can see past trying to fill some role, to the heart of my identity as God’s daughter.
1Peter 3:1-6 1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives…. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.
Although the above passage is written to married women, it applies to all women. The passage reinforces the point that when we hope in God we do not give way to fear. In marriage this results in submission to a husband. Outside of marriage it can result in me being vulnerable enough to embrace my femininity without fear of being left exposed or vulnerable.
“At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in way appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships.” Redefining Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
I’m still learning to strike the right balance in friendships and new relationships with the opposite sex. When I focus on the approach of being God’s daughter, and act in accordance with how He designed me to be, I am free to embrace my true identity in Him, and not some self-constructed role. I fail to see the freedom I have in God, when I try to dictate the roles in these relationships. There is great freedom in who I am in Him.
My singleness is a part of my journey but it does not define it. I still long to fall in love and be married one day to someone who will love and accept me for who I am, but this will only be a shadow of what I truly long for – God himself. I don’t know what the next chapter of my story will look like, and that is ok. What I do know is that as long as I cultivate belief and faith in Him, it will continue to be filled with adventures and lessons that make me better in Him. He is my ultimate hope. To be content does not mean I can’t want something I don’t have. It simply means I can accept that God knows what I need right now and that whatever I am getting is what I need.
Ps 119:66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment for I believe in your commands.